Crystal River Auctioneer, Charles Fudge of Professional Appraisers and Liquidators Antique and Estate Auctions has seen prices fluctuate for 40 years. He reports that prices couldn’t be better for buyers and more and more people are attending auctions to get a bargain. Particularly low are prices for name brand furniture — which often sells for less than the auction house’s representative has paid.
Crystal River, FL October 5, 2009 – Charles Fudge is an auction veteran. He began dabbling in the antique market at the age of 10, following in his mother’s footsteps. Right after he turned 21 he attended auction school, got his auction license, and used his savings and severance pay to go into the auction business. 4 decades later, and you’ll still find him working 12 hours a day, 6 days a week buying, selling and auctioning antiques and estate items. His first hand observations regarding the market as it pertains to auctions show that Internet auctions were the first venue to deflate auction prices realized, and the current economy has caused prices to continue to decline.
According to Fudge, “The first time we saw a big drop in auction prices, was at the turn of the 20th and 21st century when buyers started turning to eBay. Because the entire world was invited to participate in Internet auctions, items that were once “rare” in a buyer’s local market, were now found in abundance at the on-line auction.” Internet auctions drastically affected the law of supply and demand for antiques and collectibles. Any antique dealer will tell you that these values have never recovered from the big drop that took place with the inception of on-line auctions.
More recently, auctioneers have seen another significant drop in prices, which they are attributing to an uncertain economy. Many people, particularly retirees have lost most of their savings due to drops in the stock market. Others have lost their jobs or are worried about what the future holds. All of these factors affect their spending habits. Market trends for retail sales are shaky at best, and auction prices are no exception.
Where there is rain, there is a rainbow. The up-side to this downward trend in prices realized at auction is that as prices drop to all time lows, it becomes a Buyer’s Market. Says Fudge, “Solid wood and name brand furniture is going for less than ten percent of retail. I’ve seen $1000 dining room sets sell at local auctions for as little as $60.” He also notes, “Its very hard to find solid wood furniture anymore. Not many manufacturers are making it anymore. Whether you’re shopping at box retailers such as Rooms to Go or high-end stores such as Ethan Allen, all you will find is furniture made of flakeboard, or as they call it, “composite”. However, can still find good quality, solid wood furniture in abundance at any auction, and the good news is that you’ll pay pennies on the dollar for it”. He’s talked to other auctioneers around the country, and they are all experiencing the same phenomenon. Many people used to be afraid to buy at auction, because the process was unfamiliar to them. But, with the economy the way it is, he expects to see more first-timers buying at auction whether to furnish their new home or redecorate their current residence. He doesn’t think it will be very long before this well kept “secret” gets out. Whether you need a new dining room set or you want to add a piece to your collection of pottery, why not try shopping at your local auction?
For additional information, contact Professional Appraisers and Liquidators Antique Auction Gallery at 352-795-2061 or view their website at http://www.charliefudge.com. Charles Fudge, owner is a 40 year veteran of the auction business and specializes in Antiques, Collectibles and Estate Liquidation due to downsizing, moving or probate. To find the auction nearest you, Auction Zip is an excellent service that lists auction dates and times all over the U.S. Their website is http://www.auctionzip.com.